Posted by: AJ the Irish Lass | October 31, 2019

So, What Can You Do with an Anthropology Major?

 

woman looking at pyramids
APhoto by Andreea Ch on Pexels.com

Anthropology: It’s Not Just About Digging Up the Past

 

When many people think of anthropology, the first thing that comes to mind is its famous subset: archaeology. The lines between archaeology and treasure-hunting are blurred so much in pop culture, it’s easy to see why some people have the wrong idea of what this field is about.

What IS Anthropology, Anyway?

Even though some use the terms archaeology and anthropology interchangeably, archaeology is a type of anthropology. IOW, all archaeologists are anthropologists, but not all anthropologists are archaeologists. So, what are the different anthropological fields, anyway?

Here’s a list:

  • Archaeology – Studying cultures and people from humanity’s past, the type of anthropology that is most familiar in popular culture. Bear in mind that real archaeologists aren’t out to collect treasures, they’re out to document what they discover.
  • Biological/Physical Anthropology – A subfield that specializes in human genetics, evolution, and health, often working in tandem with medical researchers. A background in this type of anthropology is helpful for professionals involved in forensic work.
  • Cultural Anthropology – The subfield that specializes in society and cultural life, with a broad range of further subfields (such as urban studies, sustainability, etc.) People whose interests lie outside of physical anthropology often prefer this subfield.
  • Linguistic Anthropology – A subfield with a focus on language and its use in society. Linguistic anthropologists

This All Sounds Interesting, But What Can You Do With It?

The most obvious thing that you can do with an anthropology degree is teach, although you’ll need to go beyond four-year degree level. However, there are other jobs perfect for anthropology majors you might not have thought about:

  • Journalism and Writing – This type of job can work out nicely with an anthropology degree since the subjects studied help provide a good foundation for a broad range of well-paying writing positions.
  • Social Media/Marketing Specialist – Understanding people is an important part of being a successful marketing pro, so anthropology helps
  • Translator – Although thought of as a job that is 100% about languages, this type of position also involves a solid understanding of the culture involved.
  • Nonprofit Administrator –  The skills taught in sociological academic programs provide a greater foundation for problem-solving.
  • Public Health Specialists – A greater understanding of cultural issues makes it easier to tackle some of the most pressing health issues affecting communities.

Such a background can even help in museum or historical attraction-related jobs. Regardless of what job you’re seeking, there’s a good chance that anthropological training will help.


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